Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 549–556 | Cite as

Physical activity and the risk of prostate and testicular cancer: a cohort study of 53,000 Norwegian men

  • Inger Thune
  • Eiliv Lund
Research Papers


The associations between recreational and occupational physical activity and the subsequent risk of prostate and testicular cancer were examined in a population-based cohort study of 53,242 men in Norway. Age at study entry was 19 to 50 years. Information on physical activity was based on questionnaire responses and a brief clinical examination. A total of 220 prostate and 47 testicular cancer cases were recorded in the Cancer Registry of Norway during a mean follow-up time of 16.3 years. We found a nonsignificant, reduced, adjusted relative risk (RR) of prostate cancer with increased level of physical activity at work and among those men with the greatest recreational physical activity. When occupational and recreational physical activity were combined, a reduced adjusted risk of prostate cancer was observed among men who walked during occupational hours and performed either moderate recreational activity (RR-0.61, 95 percent confidence interval [CI]=0.36 to 1.01) or regular recreational training (RR=0.45, CI=0.20 to 1.01) relative to sedentary men (test for trend,P=0.03). Physically active men who were older than 60 years of age at diagnosis showed a reduced adjusted RR of borderline significance, while no association was observed for younger men. No evidence was found for any association between physical activity and testicular cancer regardless of physical activity at work and recreation.

Key words

Cohort study Norway physical activity prostate cancer testicular cancer 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Cancer Registry of Norway.Incidence of Cancer in Norway, 1991. Oslo, Norway: Cancer Registry, 1993.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Noble RL. The development of prostatic adenocarcinoma in Nb rats following prolonged sex hormone administration.Cancer Res 1977;37: 1929–33.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ross R, Bernstein L, Judd H, Hanisch R, Pike M, Henderson B. Serum testosterone levels in healthy young black and white men.JNCI 1986;76: 45–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Barrett-Connor E, Garland C, McPhillips JB, Khaw KT, Wingard DL. A prospective, population-based study of androstendedione, estrogens and prostatic cancer.Cancer Res 1990;50: 169–73.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hsing AW, Comstock GW. Serological precursors of cancer: serum hormones and risk of subsequent prostate cancer.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1993;2: 27–32.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boyle P, Zaridze DG. Risk factors for prostate and testicular cancer.Eur J Cancer 1993;7: 1048–55.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Moss AR, Osmond D, Bachetti P, Torti PM, Gurgin V. Hormonal risk factors in testicular cancer. A case-control study.Am J Epidemiol 1986;124: 39–52.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gershman S, Stolley P. A case-control study of testicular cancer using Connecticut tumour registry data.Int J Epidemiol 1988;17: 738–42.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Prener A, Hsieh C-c, Engholm G, Trichopoulos D, Jensen OM. Birth order and risk of testicular cancer.Cancer Causes Control 1992;3: 265–72.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Adlercreutz H, Harkonen M, Kuoppasalmi K et al. Effect of training on plasma anabolic and catabolic steroid hormones and their response during physical exercise.Int J Sports Med 1986;7: 27–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hackney AC, Sinning WE, Bruot BC. Reproductive hormonal profiles of endurance-trained and untrained males.Med Sci Sports Exerc 1988;20: 60–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Remes K, Kuopåasalmi K, Adlerkreutz H. Effect of physical exrcise and sleep deprivation on plasma androgen levels: Modifying effect of physical fitness.Int J Sports Med 1985;79: 744–50.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Brownson RC, Chang JC, Davies JR, Smith CA. Physical activity on the job and cancer in Missouri.Am J Public Health 1991;81: 639–42.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 15.
    Lee IM, Paffenbarger RS, Hsieh C-c. Physical activity and risk of prostatic cancer among college alumni.Am J Epidemiol 1992;135: 169–79.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 16.
    Hsing AW, McLaughlin JK, Zheng W, Gao YT, Blot WJ. Occupation, physical activity, and risk of prostate cancer in Shanghai, People's Republic of China.Cancer Causes Control 1994;5: 136–40.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 17.
    Poldenak AP. College athletics, body size and cancer mortality.Cancer 1976;38: 382–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 18.
    Paffenbarger RS, Hyde RT, Wing AL. Physical activity and incidence of cancer in diverse populations: a preliminary report.Am J Clin Nutr 1987;45: 12–7.Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    Marchand LL, Kolonel LN, Yoshizawa CN. Lifetime occupational physical activity and prostate cancer risk.Am J Epidemiol 1991;133: 103–11.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 20.
    Severson RK, Nomura AMY, Grove JS, Stemmermann GN. A prospective analysis of physical activity and cancer.Am J Epidemiol 1989;130: 522–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 21.
    Coldman AJ, Elwood JM, Gallagher RP. Sports activities and risk of testicular cancer.Br J Cancer 1982;46: 749–56.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 22.
    Haughey BP, Graham S, Brasure J, Zielezny M, Sufrin G, Burnett WS. The epidemiology of testicular cancer in upstate New York.Am J Epidemiol 1989;130: 25–36.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 23.
    World Health Organization.International Classification of Diseases, Seventh Revision. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO, 1957.Google Scholar
  23. 24.
    SAS Institute, Inc.SAS/STAT Guide for Personal Computers.Version 6 Edition. Cary, NC (USA): SAS Institute, Inc., 1992.Google Scholar
  24. 25.
    Saltin B, Grimby G. Physiological analysis of middleaged and old former athletes.Circulation 1968;38: 1104–15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 26.
    Wilhelmsen L, Tibblin G, Aurell M, Bjure J, Ekstrøm-Jodal B, Grimby G. Physical activity, physical fitness and risk of myocardial infarctionAdv Cardiol 1976;18: 217–30.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 27.
    Bjartveit K, Foss OP, Gjervig T. The cardiovascular disease study in Norwegian counties. Results from first screening.Acta Med Scand 1979;634.Google Scholar
  27. 28.
    Holme I, Helgeland A, Hjermann I, Leren P, Lund-Larsen PG. Physical activity at work and at leisure in relation to coronary risk factors and social class. A 4-year mortality follow-up. The Oslo Study.Acta Med Scand 1981;209: 277–83.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 29.
    Løchen ML, Rasmussen K. The Tromsø study: physical fitness, self-reported physical activity, and their relationship to other coronary risk factorsJ Epidemiol Commun Health 1992;26: 103–7.Google Scholar
  29. 30.
    Yu H, Randall EH, Wynder EL. Case-control study of prostate cancer and socioeconomic factors.Prostate 1988;13: 317–25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 31.
    Swerdlow AJ, Douglas AJ, Huttley SRA, Smith PG. Cancer of the testis, socioeconomic status, and occupation.Br J Ind Med 1991;48: 670–4.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 32.
    Talamini R, La Veccia C, DeCarli A, et al. Nutrition, social factors and prostatic cancer in a Northern Italian population.Br J Cancer 1986;53: 817–21.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 33.
    Fincham SM, Hill GB, Hanson J, Wijayasinghe C. Epidemiology of prostatic cancer: A case-control study.Prostate 1990;17: 189–206.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 34.
    Lew EA, Garfinkel L. Variations in mortality by weight among 750,000 men and women.J Chron Dis 1979;32: 563–76.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 35.
    Aakvaag A, Sand T, Opstad PK, Fonnum F. Hormonal changes in young men during prolonged physical strain.Eur J Appl Physiol 1978;39: 283–91.Google Scholar
  35. 36.
    Morville R, Pesquies PC, Guezennec CY, Serrurier BD, Guignard M. Plasma variations in testicular and adrenal androgens during prolonged physical exercise in man.Annales d'Endocrinologie 1979;40: 501–10.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 37.
    Wheeler GD, Wall SR, Belcastro AN, Cumming DC. Reduced serum testosterone and prolactin levels in male distance runners.JAMA 1984;252: 514–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 38.
    Strauss RH, Lanese RR, Malarkey WB. Weight loss in amateur wrestlers and its effect on serum testosterone levels.JAMA 1985;254: 3337–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 39.
    Zumoff B, Levine J, Starin GW, et al. Abnormal levels of plasma hormones in men with prostate cancer: Evidence toward a “two-disease” theory.Prostate 1982;3: 579–88.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 40.
    Pirke K, Dorr P. Age related changes and interrelationships between plasma testosterone, oestradiol and testosteronebinding globulin in normal adult males.Acta Endocrinol 1973;73: 792–800.Google Scholar
  40. 41.
    Dai WS, Kuller LH, Laporte RE, Gutai JP, Falvo-Gerard L, Caggiula A. The epidemiology of plasma testosterone levels in middle-aged men.Am J Epidemiol 1981;114: 804–16.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 42.
    Brown LM, Pottern LM, Hoover RN. Testicular cancer in young men: the search for causes of the epidemic increase in United States.J Epidemiol Commun Health 1987;41: 349–54.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Rapid Communications of Oxford Ltd 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inger Thune
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eiliv Lund
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Community medicineUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway
  2. 2.the Norwegian Cancer SocietyUniversity of TromsøNorway

Personalised recommendations